Do B Vitamins Have An Impact On Brain Function
Given that B vitamins are essential for every aspect of brain function, and that large proportions of the population of developed societies have less than optimal levels of vitamins, it would be expected that a relationship would be evident between vitamin consumption and mental function both in terms of epidemiological studies and controlled intervention trials. The driver for much of the research conducted to date in both of these domains has been the homocysteine hypothesis described above. Concentrating on this one unproven hypothesis has resulted in both observational and controlled trial research being focussed disproportionately on just three of the vitaminsfolate and vitamins B6 and B12. However, the observational and the controlled trial research concentrating on these three vitamins could be seen as generating somewhat different conclusions.
How We Select Supplements
Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here.
We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent, third party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLabs. We also prioritize non-GMO, Organic, and products that are free of unnecessary and potentially harmful additives.
It’s important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.
B Vitamin Deficiencies In Developed Societies
A general assumption tends to be made that the populations of developed countries have adequate nutrition, and are therefore free from deficiencies in essential micronutrients. In order to encourage adequate nutrition, governments typically define a set of dietary reference intakes or similar for individual nutrients. These always include something akin to the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA. These government figures describe the minimum daily intake of the specific nutrient that is considered to be sufficient to meet the nutritional requirement of the majority of the healthy population. However, meeting the requirements in this context typically refers to simply preventing chronic, nutrition related diseases or a disease state related to a specific deficiency of that nutrient .
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Benefits Of Vitamin B
Here’s how vitamin B helps support mental wellness:
- Boosts energy levels: B vitamins help convert food into energy.
- Supports healthy brain function: Vitamin B6, B9, and B12 contribute to homocysteine metabolism, which can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
- Improves mood: Vitamin B6, in particular, is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of mood.
- Alleviates stress: There is some research that B vitamins are associated with certain measures of reduced stress.
Choosing The Right Supplement
Look for vitamin B supplements that have been tested and approved by an independent third party.
Look for certifications from:
- The National Sanitation Foundation
- The United States Pharmacopeial Convention
Keep in mind that these certifications dont guarantee safety or effectiveness for everyone. Thats why you should always ask your doctor before adding a supplement to your daily routine.
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Is It Ok To Take A B
Yes. B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that your body does not readily store them in large amounts and excretes what it doesnt need through your urine .
While B-complex vitamins are generally safe to take daily and can be helpful and even necessary for certain populations, most people can meet their vitamin B needs through diet alone and dont need to supplement with vitamins every day.
B vitamins are necessary for a variety of essential functions in your body, but many people are at risk for deficiency in one or more B vitamins.
Several high quality B-complex supplements are available to suit various dietary restrictions and nutrient needs.
If youre looking for a high quality B-complex supplement, consider trying one of the products listed above.
If youre curious whether a B-complex supplement would benefit your health, consult a trusted healthcare professional for advice.
How Does Vitamin B Complex Help Your Body
B vitamins are vital for cell metabolism and every physiological function in your body, but since they’re water-soluble, your body is unable to store them. This means that, if you can’t get all the essential B vitamins from your diet, or if you have certain medical conditions, taking a B complex supplement is a wise choice, ensuring your body gets the nutrients it needs.
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Each of the unique vitamins in B complex has a defined role in the overall health of your bodily functions. Vitamin B complex has an impact on your energy levels, cell metabolism, brain function and immune system.
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What Is Vitamin B50
Vitamin B50 is a complex supplement that primarily contains B-complex vitamins. You can typically find vitamins B1 , B2 , B3 , B5 , B6 , B7 , B9 and B12 . Many of these vitamins are found in 50 mg amounts within the B50 supplement, though others, like folic acid, are found in smaller doses .
Most B50 complex vitamins also contain additional ingredients, like biotin, choline, inositol and para-aminobenzoic acid . You’ll find that different manufacturers may also add other vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C and E or zinc. Additional ingredients will differ based on the manufacturer and supplement.
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May Prevent Major Birth Defects
Adequate vitamin B12 levels are crucial to a healthy pregnancy.
Studies show that a fetuss brain and nervous system require sufficient B12 levels from the mother to develop properly.
Vitamin B12 deficiency in the beginning stages of pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects, such as neural tube defects. Furthermore, maternal vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to premature birth or miscarriage .
One study found that women with vitamin B12 levels lower than 250 mg/dL were three times more likely to give birth to a child with birth defects, compared to those with adequate levels .
For women with a vitamin B12 deficiency and levels below 150 mg/dL the risk was five times higher, compared to women with levels above 400 mg/dL .
Appropriate vitamin B12 levels are key to a healthy pregnancy. Theyre important for the prevention of brain and spinal cord birth defects.
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Best Gluten Free: New Chapter Fermented Vitamin B Complex
Courtesy of Amazon
Not suitable for those with soy allergies
For consumers who need to follow a gluten-free diet, it is important that supplements are also gluten-free. This Fermented Vitamin B Complex supplement by New Chapter is certified gluten-free by NSF. Its also USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. Each tablet provides all eight B vitamins, ranging from 100% to 500% of your daily needs.
Youll find vitamin B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin and folate in the form of methylfolate, both highly bioavailable forms. The vitamins in this supplement are derived from fermented foods , which may support better digestion and absorption of nutrients.
It is important to note that this supplement contains an herbal blend of maca, schizandra, and cardamom, which may be problematic for people on certain medications or with certain health conditions. Double check with a healthcare provider if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Form: Tablet | Type: Cyanocobalamin, methylfolate | Dose: 1 tablet daily
Produces Red Blood Cells
Some B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, play an essential role in the formation of red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells are needed to transport oxygen to every part of the body, and when there’s a vitamin B12 deficiency, the body will struggle to produce enough red blood cells, often leading to anemia.
Vitamins B2 and B9 are also needed for red blood cell production and growth. While vitamin B5 plays a role in red blood cell production, it also helps reduce the amount of cholesterol produced by the body. And vitamin B6, which is required for more than 100 different enzyme reactions in the body, aids in the formation of hemoglobin, which also allows red blood cells to carry oxygen through the blood.
B vitamins involved: B2, B5, B6, B9, B12
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Why Is Vitamin B Complex Good For You
There are many different vitamins that make up the vitamin B complex. Each one plays an important role in your overall health. You should already be getting B vitamins through your regular diet but different eating habits, lifestyles, or medical conditions can reduce your bodys intake of various B vitamins. With Vitamin B, you will have an increase in energy, increased metabolism, increased mood, and better skin tone.
Promotes Nervous System Health
Vitamin B2 helps maintain health of the eyes, nervous system, and skin. It also aids in the conversion of food into energy and helps enzymes in the body function properlynot to mention, it makes and repairs DNA, and helps with the optimal function of the digestive and nervous systems.
B vitamins involved: B1, B2, B3, B6, B12
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May Reduce Stress And Boost Mood
B-complex vitamins are often used to reduce fatigue and boost mood. Some studies suggest that B vitamins can lift your spirits and improve your cognitive performance.
A 33-day study in 215 healthy men found that treatment with a high dose B-complex and mineral supplement improved general mental health and stress and enhanced performance on cognitive tests .
Another study in young adults showed that supplementing with a multivitamin containing high levels of B-complex vitamins for 90 days reduced stress and mental fatigue .
Daily Recommendations For Vitamin B
Many B-complex supplements contain about 100% of the RDA of each of the eight B vitamins.
However, some contain very high levels of certain B vitamins. Before taking a high-dose supplement, talk with a doctor.
The following are RDAs for each of the B vitamins, in milligrams or micrograms , according to The National Institutes of Health . Older adults may require higher dosages of some B vitamins.
|Vitamin B3 or dietary equivalents||16 mg|
|Vitamin B9 or dietary equivalents||400 mcg|
Vitamin B-complex supplements may help with certain health problems. If a person has any of the conditions listed below, they may benefit from taking a supplement that contains B vitamins:
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How Much Vitamin B Should You Take
If you have a deficiency this is something that must be determined by your doctor. In a normal, healthy diet, you should be getting all of the compounds of it through what you eat. Your body will eliminate excess vitamins through your urine. There are certain cases where an excess of certain vitamin B compounds can cause health problems.
If you start taking a vitamin B complex supplement you may experience a stomach ache for the first couple days as your body adjusts to the increase of vitamins. This typically goes away but if it doesnt, make sure to talk to your physician. If you have any questions about how much vitamin B you should be taking, consult your doctor. The recommended daily intakes are:
- B-1: 1.1 1.2mg
- Scaly skin or cracks around the mouth
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
If you are experiencing more than a couple of these symptoms it would be best to consult your doctor. They can recommend having you tested to find the vitamins you may be deficient in.
Whos At Risk For Deficiency
Some conditions and your lifestyle can affect your body’s vitamin stores and increase the need for taking a daily B-complex vitamin to help ensure you maintain adequate levels of important nutrients. Alcohol abuse decreases absorption, so excessive drinking may lead to a deficiency. A vitamin-B deficiency can also be the result of ingesting a tapeworm from contaminated food that’s not fully cooked due to the parasite sapping the nutrients from your body.
Vegetarians or people on a strict vegan diet who eliminate animal products are often deficient in B vitamins, especially vitamin B12. Pregnant and breastfeeding women have an increased demand for B vitamins, particularly B12 and folate. Not getting enough of these vitamins can result in a deficiency and possible harm to a newborn baby.
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What Is Vitamin B10
Vitamin B10 is an alternative name for the organic compound PABA, a white crystalline substance.
Its considered part of the vitamin B complex, although its not a vitamin nor an essential nutrient. Its found in brewers yeast, organ meat, mushrooms, whole grains, and spinach .
Your body can also synthesize the compound using certain bacteria in your gut. PABA then assists in the production of folate . Yet, the amount of folate produced is inadequate to meet your needs, so you need to obtain it from other dietary sources .
PABA is thought to benefit skin and hair when taken as a supplement. Its industrially produced and sold in pill, powder, extract, and topical application form .
PABA is an organic crystalline compound also known as vitamin B10, although its not truly a vitamin. Its found in some foods and produced chemically for lotions and supplements.
While there are several proposed benefits of PABA supplements, limited studies support these claims.
Best Budget: Nature Made Super B
Pills may have a strong smell and taste
We love that NatureMade makes high quality supplements at an affordable price point. Their Super B-Complex is no exception. It’s USP certified so you can feel confident that what is on the label is what’s in the bottle. Youll get all eight B vitamins from this tablet, ranging from 118% to 8,333% of your daily needs of each. As a bonus, this Super B-Complex contains 167% of the daily value of vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant and is involved in immune function.
The small pills are easy to swallow, though you might notice they have a particular smell and flavor. While excess B vitamins are likely not harmful and your body can easily get rid of them, these do have high levels of both thiamin and riboflavin.
Form: Tablet | Type: Cyanocobalamin, folate | Dose: 1 tablet daily with a meal and water
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The Effect Of Vitamin Deficiency On Mental Health
Nearly 10% of the U.S. population has nutritional deficiencies, while 31% of the U.S. population is at risk for at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia.
Vitamin deficiencies can be caused by poor nutrition, vegetarianism, chronic alcoholism, post-gastrectomy surgery, pregnancy, and certain medications, among other factors or conditions.
The most common vitamin deficiencies include folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, with a subclinical vitamin B12 deficiency affecting somewhere between 2.5% and 26% of the population, depending on estimates.
Unfortunately, many people dont know when theyre experiencing a vitamin deficiency. They may be experiencing physical and mental health symptoms, but are unsure of the underlying cause.
Vitamin B1 Is Important For Preventing Beriberi
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B1, also called thiamine, is 1.1 milligram for women over age 18, up to 1.4 mg for those who are pregnant, and 1.5 mg for those who are breast-feeding. For men age 14 and older, 1.2 mg per day is recommended, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Vitamin B1 plays a major role in metabolizing food into energy. B1 is found in whole-grain cereals, yeast, beans, nuts, and meats. Too little vitamin B1 causes beriberi, a disease affecting the heart, digestive system, and the nervous system. Beriberi is found in patients who are malnourished, and in those who are heavy drinkers of alcohol. Symptoms of beriberi include difficulty walking, loss of sensation in the hands and feet, and paralysis of the lower legs and it may even lead to congestive heart failure. People who consume large amounts of alcohol should take a vitamin B complex supplement to be sure they get enough B1. Also, taking any one of the B vitamins for a long period of time can result in an imbalance of other important B vitamins. For this reason, you may want to take a B-complex vitamin, which includes all the B vitamins.
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What Is Vitamin B Good For
Vitamin B is the building block of a healthy body. It contributes to your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism.
Any deficiency will contribute to fatigue, poor appetite, depression, and numbness/tingling in the hands and/or feet. Over time, a lack of B12 could cause nervous system damage. This is a serious situation, best addressed by a doctor.
May Aid Digestive Health
There is some research stating that dexpanthenol, a derivative of vitamin B5 , may ease constipation .
B vitamins have been found to have various benefits on the digestive system. Vitamin B12 deficiency was observed in several cases of liver diseases, including cirrhosis and hepatitis. It also may have a role to play in reducing the severity of stomach ulcers .
In patients with irritable bowel syndrome, supplementation with vitamin B1 over 20 days reduced most of the symptoms, including fatigue .
Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 were found to help prevent gastrointestinal cancer. In animal studies, vitamin B6 was found to prevent oxidative stress, thereby potentially combating colorectal cancer .
Dietary folate may also help prevent pancreatic cancer .
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How Do I Get More Of This Vitamin
With a healthy diet, you will be getting various forms of these vitamins. Some common foods that contain it are egg yolks, nuts, bananas, whole grains, beans, and many vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. If you are under a diet restriction or some other situation where you are not getting the vitamins you need, you may need to take a supplement for it.